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The State of Learning Disabilities

The State of Learning Disabilities

The National Center for Learning Disabilities has published a survey that includes the following data:
The U.S. Survey of Income and Program Participation survey shows the LD prevalence rate among the U.S. population (ages 6 and older) to be 1.8%, totaling 4.67 million Americans.
  • Males are much more likely to have acknowledged learning disabilities than females.
  • The unemployment rate for those with LD was twice that of those without LD.
There are major disconnects between high school and postsecondary education which create obstacles for students with LD.
  • Often students with LD have lower aspirations regarding their own postsecondary education.
  • Just under 11% of undergraduates reported having some type of disability.
Only 46% of students with a LD found paid employment, full or part-time, within two years of leaving school.
I've read various estimates, indicating anywhere from 17% to 30% of adults with autism spectrum disorders find regular employment. Unfortunately, "regular" employment is not always full-time and it is often far-below the normal employment position held by similarly educated individuals within the general population. ASDs and other cognitive differences result in lower life-time earnings, even among those with Asperger's Syndrome, High-Functioning Autism, or PDD-NOS who do complete high school and a two-year degree program. Within higher education, the Chronicle of Higher Education has reported professors with ASDs are also less likely to be full-time tenure-track faculty.


  1. "Within higher education, the Chronicle of Higher Education has reported professors with ASDs are also less likely to be full-time tenure-track faculty."

    That's interesting. Do you have a link?

  2. The series CHE did began with this article:

    Diament, Michelle. “A Secret Syndrome.” Chronicle of Higher Education (2005)

    I have a hard copy and the PDF somewhere, but most of my possessions are still in boxes while we finish moving.

    There were four or five articles on Asperger's Syndrome and autism among professors. I don't have the full bibliography on my laptop. Lars Perner at USC is probably the best source of information on professors with ASDs. He is a professor in the business school and a regular speaker at autism conferences.


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